During this difficult time people are working together to get through a pandemic which is affecting our lives in so many ways. As Chair of Grace United Church, I would like to inform you of activities that we are pursuing at this point in time as well as decisions we have made at our Council meeting on June 25, 2020.
- Covid-19: Council has decided that the church building for the time being will be closed for worship until the beginning of September at the very earliest. The trustees are making arrangements to allow up to 5 individuals in the building at a time in order to do essential work. A joint letter from Grace United and MRCS regarding the details will be forthcoming. Council will be reviewing the possibility of establishing an opening date on a monthly basis or earlier if conditions change significantly.
- Rental Management: MRCS has given notice of termination of its agreement with Grace United effective September 1, 2020. To manage the rental space, a transition team has been established by Council to work with MRCS for Grace to take over the rental responsibilities as of that date. This committee is comprised of Hubert McClelland (Chair Grace Trustees), Stephan Schott, Mandy Brown, Rev Natalie Istead. A contract with Sabrina Howe has been signed for the period of the transition to help coordinate activities during transition.
This transition will involve:
– A plan for how rentals will be managed and Grace Website updated accordingly.
– A job description for the rental coordinator position and staffing plan with the Ministry and Personnel Committee.
– Establishing a rental fee schedule that is fair and competitive taking into consideration previous commitments.
– A letter to renters and potential renters from Grace United explaining new arrangements and fee structure.
– A plan for care taking for building and associated fees.
– Completion of a memorandum of understanding with MRCS for the continued use of the audiovisual and sound equipment already in the church sanctuary by renters.
- Future options for Grace: Council has approved a working group to look into future options for the church as we move forward. These options will be presented at a congregational meeting. The members of this committee are James Galloway (Chair), Rev. Natalie Istead, Susan Toller and Stephan Schott.
Members of the congregation are invited to participate in this committee should they wish to. Please advise Jim Galloway or Rev. Natalie Istead if you wish to do so.
- Church services: We have been very fortunate to have Rev. Natalie Istead provide regular Sunday services via zoom and Facebook. This has been working exceptionally well and may be a practice that we will consider continuing during our regular services once we are able to celebrate together. Worship committee will keep you informed as to worship plans.
- Congregational meeting: Council has decided to hold a congregational meeting on Sunday October 18, 2020 at which time we will approve our 2019 annual report and options for moving forward will be presented. Further details will be provided at a later date
NB: In remembrance: Leyton Woods passed on Thursday June 25, 2020. Leyton was an enthusiastic member of the team that helped form Grace United. He was a kind and loving gentleman who always had a kind word to say. We extend our sympathy to Winnie and her family for their loss but we must celebrate the life of a man who contributed so much to his community, friends and family.
Chair, Grace Council